Say Cheese, Why it’s Important to Take Family Pictures When Your Kiddo Comes Home


adopt from africaTransitioning your adoptive child into your home can be a challenge. It’s a new environment with unfamiliar people and it can be overwhelming to your child. After the first couple weeks of being home and getting in a routine, it may start to feel like life is finally falling into place. One of the best things that you can do when you start getting into a routine is to plan family pictures.

Having pictures on the wall is one way that we display our love for those in our home. When a child joins your family through adoption they may see pictures of other children and may feel left out. They may not feel included in the family. They may wonder if they are valued, cherished and loved like those who are in the pictures. However, taking pictures of your child and putting them on the wall may seem like a huge step to an adoptive parent. Melissa Faye Greene wrote in her book, No Biking in the House without a Helmet, “Refusing to take photos of him during his first weeks in America (because it might mean he was staying, because the photos might be used as evidence that he’d been here) also might have been a clue. Refusing to let anyone else take a picture of the whole family (because his presence in the family portrait among our four kids by birth would mar the effect) similarly could have sounded a warning note.” This is such an important feeling to acknowledge, because having a child in your home and the process of the child being in your home are two very different things. It’s okay to share your emotions with your spouse, social worker or adoption agency. You must process these feelings and ask for help as Post Adoption Depression is something that many people can struggle with after arriving home with their child.

If your family is anything like mine, getting any of us to take a decent picture is out of the question. Family pictures are always a chore, because really how many poses can you do until they all look the same? You bring different outfits and they all have to color coordinate and it really ends up not being a family fun affair. However, when welcoming a child into your home it is an important piece in truly making them a permanent part of your family.

Red Thread Sessions was created to help families celebrate adoption through photography. During the first three months after your adoption is finalized, you can enter your zip code and find a local photographer that can take your family pictures for you. The photographer volunteers their time and services, and there are multiple different types of photography shoots that you can choose from. Depending on what the photographer charges for printing are the fees that you and your family pay. What a great way to document your family and for others to volunteer their time to help adoptive families.

Another way to get pictures of your kiddos is to take them yourself, through your phone or even a digital camera. We live in a day in age that everyone, okay not everyone but the majority of people, love to take pictures and post them all over their Facebook, blog, Instagram, Twitter, etc. In posting these pictures there is some sort of satisfaction in letting people know what you have been up to, but also that you have fun as a family. If you are anything like me printing these pictures is a whole other task and sometimes it just does not get done. It’s a hassle because it’s on my phone and I really do not have the time to stop somewhere and get them printed or upload them to a website to them have them printed. I have been using this app called Free Prints, you pay for shipping and you get very high quality pictures delivered to your door! Lastly, I have another app called Chatbooks where you can get your family memories put into a book and the ship it right to your door! What a great way to document family vacations, trips, parties, or really any occasion!

Hopefully, some of these resources will be helpful to you and you can document and display wonderful memories of your family. With this family touch you can make your house more like a home.

Brittany Smith works as a full-time Home Study Assistant with MLJ Adoptions. Adoption and orphan care became a passion for her on a mission trip to China with Show Hope, an adoption and orphan care advocacy organization.